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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance

Independent Walking Holiday
  • West Highland Way & Wild West Coast

Dates for 2023
  • From May to early September:
  • Arriving Scotland Thursday; Friday or Saturday will allow 3 weekdays in Mallaig and so any 3 days for transfer for walks on Knoydart, from Loch Morar and on Skye. 
  • Restricted choice - Arriving Scotland Sunday or Wednesday will allow 2 weekdays in Mallaig with a weekend day for visiting Skye or a walk / explore around the village instead
  • Outside of these dates - Arriving on a Saturday is the only real option to fit in with ferry transfers
  • On request
  • moderate to challenging walking holiday
  • 7 nights, 3 days walking the northern part of West Highland Way and 3 days exploring remote parts of the west coast
  • A unique walking holiday combining the best parts of the West Highland Way and the remote and mountainous west coast
  • Exploring the northern sections of Scotland’s most famous long distance route including lonely Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe and some stunning mountain views
  • Exploring the Beautiful and rugged coastal scenery of the west coast, including the Isle of Skye. Discover the beautiful Loch Morar and the remote and isolated Knoydart peninsula - Britain's last wilderness. Rich wildlife including eagle, otter and seal spotting
Accommodation and Meals
  • 7 nights B&B in ensuite 2 person rooms (double or twin) in good quality Guest Houses or Hotels.  Some locations have very limited choice.
What's included
  1. 7 nights B&B in ensuite 2 person rooms
  2. 3 train journeys
    Day 1 Glasgow Queen Street to Bridge of Orchy (depart 18.20)
    Day 5 Fort William to Mallaig (departs 08.30)
    Day 8 Mallaig to Glasgow Queen Street (departs 10.35)
  3. Ferries: Voucher for return crossing Skye ferry (Mallaig / Armadale) and voucher for returns on the “Western Isles” ferry for two journeys
  4. Detailed walking notes including information about the area
  5. Walking maps of West Highland Way, the west coast and the south of Isle of Skye
  6. Baggage transfers along the West Highland Way (1 bag per person, max weight 20kg)
What's not included
  1. All lunches, dinners and drinks
  2. Travel to Glasgow, Scotland
  3. Local bus transfers
  4. Travel insurance
  5. Entrance fees
  1. Take a look at our other coastal trail walking holidays in Europe
  2. Take a look at our other independent walking holidays in Scotland: Trossachs National Park, Oban & Islands - West Highlands Way & Skye

West Highlands Way & West Coast

Your independent walking holiday is a great mix of multi-day trekking along one of the UK's best trails and day walks on the stunningly beautiful and rugged west coast including the remote Knoydart peninsula and the Isle of Skye.

Despite crossing the highlands of Scotland, the West Highland Way is a relatively straight forward route which stays at low altitude. You'll join the West Highland Way at the Bridge of Orchy, where the highland scenery really begins to show its true savage beauty. You'll cross the vast expanse of Rannoch Moor, a remote and desolate part of the trail with little sign of life, except for fellow walkers. At Glen Coe the scenery changes once more to dramatic mountain terrain, dominated by the impressive Buachaille Etive Mor which stands as a sentry to this stunning glen. Glen Coe is often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland.

From Glen Coe your trail climbs the Devils Staircase, a 259m ascent to the highest point on the West Highland Way (548m) with great views over the peaks of Glen Coe and Ben Nevis can be seen in the distance. The trail then descends back to sea level at Kinlochleven. The path runs along the mountainside with spectacular views over the Mamores and miles of open wilderness stretching away to the East. After a final climb your route descends to Glen Nevis and Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK.

The Knoydart Peninsula is referred to as "Britain's last wilderness" due to its harsh terrain and remoteness. It is only accessible by boat, or by a 16-mile (26 km) walk through rough country. Explore this beautiful and wild coastal region with stunning mountain scenery, and enjoy a pint in the remotest pub in mainland Britain. Loch Morar is the fifth largest lake in Scotland and is the deepest. You'll have the chance to enjoy its dramatic northern shores as you make your way to Loch Nevis with ever changing landscapes.

The Isle of Skye is the largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The island's peninsulas radiate out from a mountainous centre dominated by the rugged and wild Cuillin hills. You'll explore the southern headlands, mountains and bays of Skye.

More information about the highland & islands of Scotland

Walking Profile

Walking on tracks and paths, distances 14-22km through mountain terrain.  Some paths along the coastline can be rough  and narrow at times. A choice of walks available to allow for different levels of experience and ability. Ascents up to 700m during the day. Suitable for regular hill walkers, as well as fit and healthy novices.


map location independent walking holiday highlands and west coast scotland

Day 1: Arrival

Arrive at Bridge of Orchy in the Highlands of Scotland and on the route of the spectacular West Highland Way.

Day 2: Bridge of Orchy - Kingshouse

Walk from Bridge of Orchy to Kingshouse, 21km on tracks across the beautiful and remote Rannoch Moor and through Glen Coe with some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the UK to arrive at Kingshouse one of Scotland's oldest inns.

Day 3: Kingshouse - Kinlochleven

Walk from Kingshouse over the Devil's Staircase, the highest point on the West Highland Way and down to the sea at Kinlochleven at the end of a bay, 16km on tracks.

Day 4: Kinlochleven - Fort William

Continue on by the Lairig Mor to Fort William, 23km on tracks and paths over to Glen Nevis and the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. Overnight in the west coast town of Fort William.

Possibility of an extra day for anyone wishing to ascend Ben Nevis (hill walking experience recommended.)

Day 5: Travel to Mallaig and explore Knoydart

Travel by the early train 08.30 to arrive in Mallaig at 09.52.  This leaves a full day to explore the area.  First of 3 nights B&B in Mallaig

Train arrives in time to catch the ferry to Inverie on the isolated peninsula of Knoydart. 4 hours ashore to explore locally and maybe visit "The Old Forge" the remotest pub in Scotland and the UK. The return ferry sails via the heart of Loch Nevis (the loch of heaven) with some of the best rugged coastal scenery in Scotland and spot the seals in the loch.

Days 6 & 7: Choice of walks including Loch Marar & Isle of Skye

Time to explore and discover:
The Isle of Skye
Ferry departs Mallaig at 08.25 arriving Armadale 08.51 
Return ferry departs Armadale 17.05 or 18.21 arriving Mallaig 17.31 or 18.51 respectively. Walks on Sleat / Clandonald area or out to the Point of Sleat, up to 20km.

The wild north shore of Loch Morar and sail from Tarbert.
Shiel bus from Mallaig departing 09.05 to Morar.  Walk from there by Bracorina and Swordland lodge on the north shores of Loch Morar to the tiny hamlet of Tarbert on Loch Nevis.  Arrive by 15.30 for the ferry back to Mallaig. Walking distance 14km on minor road and rough path with new views around every corner.

Explore the environs of Mallaig - walk out to Mallaigvaig and on round the old coast path.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast depart Mallaig by train 10.35 arriving Glasgow Queen street station 15.44. You probably want the flight back after 18.00 - 18.30 to allow transfer time to the airport


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Accommodation & Meals

7 nights B&B in ensuite 2 person rooms (double or twin) in good quality Guest Houses or Hotels. They are often in historic buildings with charm and character and they are often rated 4 star by local tourist board standards. Some locations have a limited choice. Packed lunches and evening meals are not included in the price of the holiday. Examples of the type of accommodation used are shown below.

Name Type Details Rating  
Distillery House Guest house At the foot of Ben Nevis on the banks of River Nevis, lies the Old Glenlochy Distillery, a welcoming guest house converted from  distillery workers’ cottages where complimentary whisky and shortbread is served in the Reading Lounge 4 star local rating distillery house accommodation scotland walking holiday uk
Macdonald Hotel Hotel The MacDonald Hotel is situated at the foot of the Mamore Mountains, at the head of Loch Leven, providing a stunningly beautiful setting   macdonald hotel accommodation scotland walking holiday uk
Travel Options

Travel Options

Train travel to Bridge of Orchy from Glasgow Queen Street and the return from Mallaig is included in the price of your independent walking holiday in Scotland.

Trains run regularly from London and other UK cities to Glasgow Central rail station. Bus service 398 available at the station takes you to Queen Street station, as does the Glasgow subway.

Internal UK flights and international flights operate from Glasgow Airport. There is a regular shuttle bus service - Service 500 (Glasgow Flyer Airport Express) which runs to the city centre and Queens Street station.




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